Direct Relief’s emergency personnel are in Fiji, where an estimated 50,000 persons remain homeless in shelters following Cyclone Winston, which devastated parts of the country last weekend.
Direct Relief’s response began as the storm approached Fiji and has accelerated in its aftermath as the extent of damage has become clearer. At least 41 people lost their lives in the nation of more than 330.
Fijian authorities have requested large quantities of medicines, IV solutions, and emergency medical modules that Direct Relief began delivering last week to help hospitals and health facilities extend care in the emergency’s aftermath. Direct Relief has long supported the humanitarian health efforts of colleague nonprofits the Loloma Foundation and the Savusavu Community Foundation in Fiji, both of which have earned the trust and respect of Fijian communities and the national government with whom Direct Relief is close coordination.
Direct Relief is working to distribute medicines and supplies to hospitals and healthcare facilities in Taveuni, the hardest hit island, and will assist the Ministry of Health at its central storage warehouse with the allocation and distribution of medical resources.
Several air shipments containing antibiotics, pain relief medications, IV solutions, and wound care supplies have arrived or are en route to Fiji — to the central pharmacy service or hand-carried by partner organizations’ medical teams – Reach Out WorldWide, Mammoth Medical Missions, and the Mission at Natuvu Creek – who have been approved by the Fijian government and have deployed to assist people in the heavily-affected areas of Taveuni, Lautoka, and Buca Bay.
Today, Direct Relief is sending more than 15,000 pounds of humanitarian medical aid including two large emergency medical modules filled with medicines most needed after a disaster, prescription medicines to treat a variety of chronic and acute conditions, IV solutions, surgical supplies, and wound care items specifically requested by the country’s Chief Pharmacist.
Combined with the emergency aid delivered last week FedEx (free-of-charge), Direct Relief’s will have provided nearly $525,000 worth of medicines and supplies to Fiji in response to Cyclone Winston.
Direct Relief also has been asked to provide temporary medical shelter and other shelter supplies, which will be possible because of a significant contribution of durable tents, as well as cots, solar chargers, and water purification devices from the Tifie Foundation, whose donation of tents last year following the Nepal earthquakes remain in use as birthing centers.
Since 2009, Direct Relief has provided $27.3 million worth of medicines, supplies, and equipment to the Ministry of Health, hospitals, and other partners in Fiji.